There are a lot of reasons to be a Costco member, according to the internet. The meat section is as reliable as a Toyota Camry, the wine selection is expanding and for people without large families the volume of bulk packaged items is a lot more manageable than it once was. Then there are the cult favorite Kirkland Signature golf products. The wholesaler’s golf balls, often rumored to be made by another OEM like Titleist or Srixon, have been one of the best deals in golf for some time now.
There have long been cabretta leather golf gloves too, but when it became apparent in the last few months that Costco was preparing to go up against the big boys Callaway, TaylorMade, Cobra and others and release a driver for $200 USD, the fanfare went to another level. Then a set of forged irons out of nowhere for $500 USD? Budget minded golfers and equipment gurus alike couldn’t contain themselves. Neither could we, and having already missed out on the irons (which sold out in an hour) we weren’t going to let the driver slip through our hands.
The Kirkland Signature driver arrived at our doorstep the next day, packaged in a cardboard box with that recognizable red and black branding, plus a smattering of product images and copy in various languages. Just like everyone else, we had to see what the hype was about.
$200 USD is a great price for a new driver, but ultimately it means nothing if the product doesn’t hold its own. Like all the premium drivers that are being released these days, the Kirkland Signature driver uses a lightweight yet durable carbon composite crown (the top of the driver) to move the center of gravity toward the bottom of the club, hence allowing you to launch the ball in the air with ease. This also has the effect of taking off spin. And high launch with low spin means longer drivers. We’re already off to a great start.
The titanium face is less cutting edge compared with TaylorMade’s patented carbon fiber Twist Face or Callaway’s own AI forged titanium version designed with 80,000 lines of code, but it gets the job done. The shaft it comes with is an EvenFlow Riptide 60 6.0, which is best suited for players with around 95-110 mph of clubhead speed. That covers a pretty wide range of golfers, encompassing your average weekend warrior, skilled juniors and middle-aged lower handicaps.
Reviewing the club as someone who swings their driver closer to 115 mph, the increased height and spin with the Kirkland compared to our normal gamer was noticeable, but to be expected. The driver arrives set at 10.5 degrees of loft, but can be adjusted up or down by one degree with the Kirkland-branded wrench that comes in the box.
In its short lifespan the Kirkland Signature has already drawn a good number of comparisons to the Titleist TS line, which is easy to understand when you observe the lines on its sole and its traditional pear shape look from address. In this case though, rather than being a potential detractor for imitation it feels more like a compliment. The Kirkland Signature Driver is a serious looking club and won’t look out of place in a lineup next to its 2024 peers. Similar to most drivers these days, it’s primarily black with only a few areas of contrast.
However, unlike its generously branded contemporaries, this club curiously has only one instance of branding, which takes place on the toe end of the sole with the iconic “Kirkland Signature” spell-out logo. The crown, meanwhile, is solid black about an inch or two behind the face, then fades into a carbon fiber pattern reminding its wielder of the underlying technology – a nice modern touch. A single gray dot is provided for alignment.
The last thing to note is the headcover, which feels like a missed opportunity on Costco’s part to not have released it independently. It features Kirkland Signature embroidery on a white leather base, and is then stitched together with a woven carbon fiber imitation section. Even when we’re done with this driver we’ll be tempted to throw this bad boy on our gamer.
The Feel & Sound
The sound that a driver makes at impact is such an underrated aspect of golf clubs. Hit it on the heel and you get a harsh vibration, hit it towards the toe and you get a hollow sensation, and hit in the middle and you should feel pure euphoria. A tee shot hit out of the middle with the Kirkland didn’t quite reach those levels for us, but we can’t complain. Taking it out to the course, we produced a few different types of strikes (intentionally of course), and they all felt pretty much how you would expect. The sound of a good strike definitely veered more towards the high-pitched metallic side, but was overall clean and, importantly, not too loud.
Ultimately, for a driver priced so low the question for most people is less whether it competes with the best. If it does even a decent job of imitating a premium driver, then it’s already justified its price tag. Let’s be clear though, if you’re somewhere around a scratch golfer this probably isn’t the club for you. But we can say with certainty that the Kirkland Signature driver is worth the money, and that it will be a great option for a wide variety of golfers. And given how expensive the game can be, it’s refreshing to know that you can get your hands on quality equipment without breaking the bank. Unfortunately, as with all good things, the resellers have to ruin the fun, but once stock catches up there should be another chance for people to purchase.
What does it mean for Costco going forward? Don’t expect a tour player to sign for Kirkland Signature anytime soon, but perhaps it could be a case of Costco testing the water for something bigger. If it is, it’s hard not to envision America’s big-box store going in for more. Its golf products continue to be met with overwhelming enthusiasm, and now for the first time golfers can play Kirkland through the entire bag. What’s next, Kirkland golf apparel? There’s about to be a lot of Nike golf merchandise sitting around if the rumors are to be believed … just saying.